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Thursday, February 19, 1998 Published at 19:02 GMT

Sport: Football

Macari loses legal battle against Celtic
image: [ Macari: out of pocket and out of work ]
Macari: out of pocket and out of work

Former Celtic manager Lou Macari faces a massive legal bill after failing to convince a judge that he was wrongly sacked in 1994.

The "amiable but not particularly astute" Macari was ruled by the presiding judge, Lady Cosgrove, to have been in breach of his contract with the Glasgow club, and his claim for more than 400,000 damages was rejected.

But she also rejected a counter-claim by Celtic, which sought to recover some of the 250,000 it paid to Macari's former club Stoke City when it recruited him to Parkhead in 1993.

Her 80-page judgement follows eight weeks of courtroom evidence last year at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and places both Macari and Celtic managing director Fergus McCann in an unfavourable light.

Macari, a former Manchester United and Scotland player, was said to have failed to appreciate the change to the regime brought about when McCann became managing director in 1994.

He was sacked shortly afterwards on 14 June and launched his legal action later the same year.

But Lady Cosgrove also found McCann was an "uncompromising and somewhat arrogant employer who expected unquestioning compliance".

On Thursday it was not clear if Celtic would seek to recoup any of its costs from Macari but he himself confirmed he was considering an appeal.

"Obviously I am hugely disappointed at the outcome," said Macari, 48, who gave up his manager's job at Stoke City last year to focus on the legal battle with Celtic.

"I will be meeting my legal representatives to study the findings to see if there are any grounds for an appeal.

"To be honest, I can't believe it. Celtic didn't win their case against me, and I didn't win my case against them.

"It sounds good to say it's a draw, but to me, of course, it's not a draw."

In a brief statement the club said: "Celtic is very pleased with the judgement which was as expected."

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